Picking sides

MS Is Picking Sides

Don’t ask me how I come up with the titles to these articles at times because I honestly couldn’t tell you. I promise I’m writing about something that does involve MS, trust me!

MS seems to affect one side of my body more

So what do I mean when I say “MS is picking sides?” Well, I’m referring to the fact that it seems that my MS likes to pick one side of my body that it’s going to affect. My symptoms are usually worse on one side in comparison to the other. I’m not sure if this applies to you, but I know that it applies to not only myself but also my friends with MS as well.

For me, it seems that my right side is more affected by MS than my left side. Now, this isn’t completely visual either. I have that burning/fire feeling on the right side of my lower body and leg.

My left side tends to overcompensate

I think to myself that sometimes I wish my MS would “show itself” on both sides of my body, instead of just one, so that I’m not favoring one side. Why? Well, let’s say that my right leg feels like it's on fire. When that happens, I don’t want to walk on it; I don’t want anything or anyone to touch it – nothing. So my left leg will overcompensate due to my lack of use of my right leg. No big deal, right? Well, it’s not that easy.
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Overexerting myself

See, when I’m overcompensating for a symptom that has flared up on one side of my body, I’m over-exerting myself on the side that is compensating. So sooner or later (not always, but for me, it mostly happens), I will start to have issues on the leg that was fine when my other one was on fire. Does that sound familiar?

My MS is a "lefty"

I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that my multiple sclerosis is a lefty. Because as most of us have learned, each side of your brain controls the opposite side of your body and the function it’s supposed to carry out. This is why I say that my MS is a lefty, because I’m mostly affected on my right side.

This is a really great article about MRI images & symptoms by Laura Kolaczkowski, a fellow MultipleSclerosis.net contributor.

Kind of stinks that I’m a ‘righty’ though; it can make things VERY difficult at times. Now, I’m not at all saying that I’m not affected on the left side of my body, because I am. It just seems that my left-sided symptoms are even harder to “see” than the symptoms on my right side.

Vision issues

I was “lucky” enough to not only have optic neuritis in my right eye but on my left as well. After thinking about it and speaking with my doctors about this, I asked them if my left eye optic neuritis could have been brought on by it overcompensating for the vision issues I had with my right eye. The answer I received??? “It’s possible...” Well, okay then.

Weakness and fatigue

So why am I going off and ranting about MS picking sides, blah blah blah? Well, it does matter...to me at least. My whole right side is weaker than my left, but now that I’ve had to become accustomed to that, my left side gets very tired and seems to want to “give out” on me at times. I’ve even had comments in the past like, “Why is your left foot dragging? I thought it was the right foot you had problems with at times?” It’s really complicated to answer that. So, I’ve just said, “My left leg can’t carry the whole team and not have a second string.” (I’m into sports, just an FYI.)

Short term vs. long term impact

I still wonder at times, is there something in how MS affects the body that causes it to pick a side that it’s going to attack? How does it target its victim (nerve)? I sound like I’m discussing a video game or something – and MS is the bad guy, like Bowser from Mario Bros. or something. Oh – and the princess is my nerves? (I do get easily sidetracked at times, so excuse me for that. Although, you probably do, too, so I’m glad we’re apart of the same Sidetracked Brain Club – yes I totally just made that up.)

So in a way, if you really think about it, while MS can attack and affect only one side of the body, it still affects both sides in the long run. And I totally just thought about that while I was writing this. See?! Y’all help me all the time to come up with all these insightful thoughts.

On that note, I’m going to give my brain a break for now...

Wishing everyone well!


Ashley Ringstaff
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